Macro photos of the Galaxy S8
The Galaxy S8 is a beautiful phone all around. CNET photographer Josh Miller took a series of macro photos to show off some of its tiniest features.
The glass back of the Galaxy S8
For reference, here's a wide shot of the rear showing the S8's camera (center), fingerprint reader (right) and an enclosure containing the flash and a heart rate sensor (left).
Heart rate monitor
On the bottom of the flash enclosure are two compartments that make up the heart rate monitor. The bottom half contains two diodes that create a red light which shines through the skin of a finger. The top half has a grouping of four sensors that measure the light reflected back from a blood vessel. These measurements are translated into a frequency to determine your heart rate per minute.
The rear LED flash has a thin plastic Fresnel lens, commonly used in automobile headlights and lighthouses. The circular grooves spread the light to cover a wider area.
And here's the same LED flash in action.
The S8 has a 12-megapixel dual-pixel camera that allows for speedy focus and excellent low-light photos.
Samsung got rid of the home button which meant moving the fingerprint sensor (right) to the back of the phone next to the camera. Notice the raised edges around the camera housing and fingerprint sensor. When holding the phone, the edges are barely detectable.
A consequence of moving the fingerprint sensor next to the camera are fingerprint smudges. To the naked eye, fingerprint smudges are hard to see, but up close the oils of the fingerprint reflect off the glass back. We tested taking photos with fingerprint smudges on the lens. Check out our results.
The front of the Galaxy S8
For reference, here's a wide shot of the front of the S8. Across the top is the earpiece (top center), the selfie camera and iris scanner (top right) and the barely visible iris recognition LED (top left). Not seen on the top left are the proximity sensor and LED indicator light for notifications.
The earpiece of the S8 is barely wider than a fingernail. Notice the absolutely minuscule cross-hatched grill of the recessed earpiece.
Iris scanner and selfie camera
The selfie camera (left) and an iris scanner (right) are both recessed behind the front glass of the S8.
One the left side of the phone are two hardware buttons. The larger button (on the left) is the volume rocker. The smaller button on the right a button that triggers Samsung's Bixby Voice software. To use it, the button must be pressed and held down like a walkie-talkie.
Inside the USB-C port on the bottom of the phone, you can see 12 of the 24 metal contacts that are used to charge, and share data off the S8.
Across the bottom edge from left-to-right are an antenna line and headset jack. Inside the headset jack barrel you can see the contacts.
The bottom left edge from left-to-right has a pinhole for the microphone, speaker grill and another antenna line.
A golden finish
Here's an S8 Plus in gold. Both the S8 and S8 Plus have all glass front and back. The rear glass is painted front the inside. The "Galaxy S8+" logo is painted directly on the glass and if you look close enough, you can see the depth of the letters atop the goose bump texture of the gold paint.
Macro photos of the Galaxy S8
Our reviewer described the Samsung Galaxy S8 as "the most beautiful, polished phone" she's ever held. And as these photos clearly show, that beauty appears in its tiniest details.